Our Approach to Development

Reducing poverty and spurring growth in developing countries requires strategic, high-value investment of scarce resources, whether they come from donors, governments, or communities. Interventions to reduce the burden of poverty need to be rigorously identified, tested, and scaled up to be cost-effective and have high impact.

Evidence Action develops and de-risks models for such interventions that allow tens of millions of people to be served and return on investment be measured.

We bridge the gap between rigorous research and pilot interventions on one hand, and institutionalized programs on the other. By focusing on promising approaches backed by rigorous evidence, we support programs that are measurably effective; by seeking to solve the challenge of scale, we provide cost-effective impact for many. 

Our History

Evidence Action launched formally in 2013 to scale up poverty interventions that have been proven to be effective in order to benefit millions of people.

Evidence Action leads and manages two programs incubated initially by Innovations for Poverty Action: Dispensers for Safe Water and the Deworm the World Initiative. While Evidence Action grew out of a need to manage these programs, the larger goal of the organization was to design a process to bridge the gap between proven interventions that work and scaling them up to produce measurable impact for millions of people.

This led to the creation of Evidence Action Beta in 2014, where we are currently testing a number of other rigorously-evaluated interventions to be implemented as sustainable programs at scale. Beta functions to identify, filter, and scale up proven poverty interventions from the proof-of-concept stage to becoming institutionalized programs that serve millions. Beta's rigorous filtering criteria includes scoring interventions based on impact, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and strategic fit.

Evidence Action values iteration, evaluation, learning, and adapting. We envision our role as leading a strategic approach to development that fills the gap between "what works" and implementing interventions at scale. By both incubating these proven interventionsand also providing technical support and other functional services to our fully scaled programs, we span the continuum of evidence-based development that allows us to lay the foundations for effective monitoring and evaluation from the beginning. By strategically partnering, collaborating, and working with researchers, community members, institutions, and governments, we are looking to build a world where millions of people living in the poorest places have better opportunities and their lives are measurably improved.